Day 1 (15/08/2014) – Vienna-Mariazell (143km/2,300m ascent/4 passes/drank 7.5 litres)

passes climbed:
Auf-dem-Hals-Pass (655m); Rohrer Sattel (853m); Ochsattel (854m); Gscheidpass (982m)

towns passed:
Vienna; Mariazell

Easy-going didn’t help – my legs are tired anyway after day 1. However, everything went well on my start day – only the weather could be better: I finished the day in continuous rain after having started in the sun – and probably having changed clothes from rain gear to normal gear and back around 15 times!

1,987km/39,700m ascent/35 passes to go!

accurate route details (incl. GPS track):
Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 1 (Vienna-Mariazell)
Start date/time: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 8:57, distance (km): 142.71, elevation (ascent in m): 2,085

all photos of the day:

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the evening before the start – and once more a new fundraising target (now: 3,900€)

Seeing this amount of donated money on the evening before my departure already is really, really impressive. I never expected this and am totally grateful for your help.

So I don’t want to lose too many words now; just to let you know two things: I’m ready for “take-off”! Just arrived in Vienna (after having passed Salzburg where I’ll be around Sunday again 😉 ) and am very much looking forward to me sitting on my bicycle tomorrow. Exciting!

And I guess it’s time for raising the fundraising target once again: The next number that comes to my mind after 2,130km distance and 2,802m maximum altitude is 39 pass roads that I’m hopefully going to traverse. At least that’s the plan. So I’d suggest these 39 passes represent the new target of 3,900€. I’ll keep the option to donate open until after I’ve finished my bike tour, so if you feel like giving something as well, this is more than welcome.

Thank you very, very much – and please keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well, both reaching the new fundraising target and all the cycling waiting for me from tomorrow onwards.

updated fundraising target – now 2,802€

When you achieve one goal, it’s time to sit back for a while, reflect and enjoy what one has achieved – but it’s also the time of thinking further. I guess that time has come now: Together we’ve almost reached the target of collecting 1 Euro for every single kilometre I’m going to ride from Vienna to Nice – and this is even before I’ve actually pedaled a single kilometre. No worries, I feel the pressure 😉

But I’m an optimistic person – and therefore I’ve decided to take the next step: Let’s try and not just collect 1 Euro per kilometre; let’s try and collect 1 Euro for every metre of the highest point of my tour – Col de la Bonette. With 2,802m it’s the highest pass road and the second highest paved road in the Alps.

Col de la Bonette from Cime de la Bonette – hopefully I’ll be able to post the same picture in four week’s time again; but then taken by myself!

And in case you think this will make it easier for me as my goal now is not cycling 2,130km anymore but to reach the highest point: No worries, I’ll only get to Col de la Bonette on my very last day of the tour. And believe me: If I’ve made it up there, I’ll certainly cycle the remaining 100km with 3,000m descent to Nice too 😉

a big thank you to all, and a very special thank you to the children of ‘Grundschule Haus im Wald’

What can I say but a very, very big thank you to everyone who has supported the good cause I’m trying to collect as much money for as possible. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people who have donated already (before I even set off for my ride!) – and I’m so happy to know that you’re sharing my idea of what’s important to focus on in our busy daily lives from time to time.

As I’ve always said, I’m happy about every single Cent that you are giving for a good cause, it a_logo250really doesn’t matter to me how much it is. Still I feel like expressing a very special thank you to the children of my cousin’s elementary school ‘Grundschule Haus im Wald’ in Bavaria. These girls and boys have an annual running event called “children run for children – helping through running”. And this year the pupils and their teachers decided to donate what they’ve collected through their running efforts for my fundraising project! I’m impressed by these little runners – I take my hat off to you!! Keep on the good work!

If you want to read more about it and see some photos when they’re in action, have a look at their school’s website:

appeal for donations for children’s cancer charity during my bike ride from Vienna to Nice (English)

zur Deutschen Version (nur dieser Eintrag!)

— UPDATE #2 (14/08/2014): We’ve exceeded the second fundraising target (2,802€) on the evening before the start already by 50€. So let’s try together to collect even a little more: I plan to traverse 39 pass roads on my tour – and these 39 passes should represent the new fundraising target of 3,900€. Thank you all – again! —

— UPDATE #1 (10/08/2014): One week before the start of my tour, we’ve almost reached the initial fundraising target of 2,130€ already – a very big thank you to everyone who has donated so far! The new target as of 10th August 2014 is to match the highest point of my tour: ‘Col de la Bonette’; with 2,802m the highest pass road in the Alps. —

All the way across the Alps from the east to the west (2,130km through five countries from Vienna to Nice), traversing the highest mountain passes (42,000m ascent in total), me, my bicycle, and 12kg of luggage. That’s the key data for the bike tour I’m going to do this summer. Crazy? Maybe. Probably a bit at least. However, despite a lot of pain that can be expected this has been a dream of mine for quite a while – and this summer I’m going to make it happen. For more details, please follow the other blog entries on this website (all information about my cycling plan, GPS-data of the planned route, equipement list, etc.).

Großglockner high alpine road – view from ‘Hochtor’ towards the southern ascent (12/07/2014)

One of my main motivations for this trip (besides enjoying spectacular scenery and the challenging aspect itself) is to help people who don’t get a chance to live a normal life in good health as I am allowed to do. Due to some experiences in my private environment, one thing that seems to keep crossing my way on a regular basis is cancer. All of the people within my family and circle of friends who were or are affected by this disease have two things in common: they inspired me by how they deal(t) with their fate. And their environment’s help supported them and gave them hope to continue their struggle, no matter how hard, and in some case no matter how hopeless it might have been.

So let me get to the point: In my eyes, one of the saddest things is when a child or young person, i.e. the most important value we got in society, gets ill and has to fight something as terrible as cancer; has to learn that it might not be able to live a normal life – for a while or maybe never.

Thanks to many organisations and devoted people these children get the help they need: medical help, but also entertainment to make their lives more worth living. It’s not a secret that these organisations need money to continue their work.

And this is where you and I come into play: I want to use my bike tour from Vienna to Nice to start an appeal for donations for a good cause. For each kilometre on the bike I want to collect 1 Euro. 2,130km = 2,130 Euro. And that money should contribute to the good work of two different organisations:

The first one is called ‘Herzenswünsche’ (‘heart’s desire’), an organisation that supports critically ill children and teens all over Germany by making one of their dreams come true (such as organising a birthday party, meeting a celebrity, horse-riding, a ride with a hot-air balloon, etc.) in order to give them new hope and strength.
You can find more information on the official website (in German only):

The other one is particularly special to me as it’s basically just round the corner from where I live: It’s the ‘Irmengard-Hof’ at Chiemsee Lake, run by the Björn Schulz Foundation. Within a historic property that belonged to a Benedictine monastery it provides a place for psychosocial post-rehabilitation support for families with children/young people who have cancer or are chronically ill.
More information on their official website (again, in German only):

If you want to get to know more about these organisations, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!

And now the most important thing: Making a donation is really, really easy. Simply go on and follow the steps described. You can donate from any country, it’s safe, it’s transparent, and you can choose any amount you want to. As shown on the website you can add an additional amount of money for – the platform I’m using to collect the donations. However, you don’t have to. And you can change the language to English in the top right corner of the website.
As for payment methods: direct debit, credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or PayPal is possible.

Please take a minute or two to make a donation – any amount is fine (as long as we’ll get to 2,130 € in total 😉 ). After my tour when we’ll hopefully have reached this ambitious target, the money is split 50/50 between the two above mentioned projects.

One last favour I’d want to ask: Can you please forward this message to your family, friends, colleagues etc. Thank you!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your support! I’ll keep you in the loop about both, the way how the donations go and how I’m doing on my bike ride (even if I’ll probably not be able to put too many updates online during my ride – but certainly after, including photos.)

Any questions – simply ask! Again: Thank you very, very much for your help and support!

Martin Karl

Spendenaufruf für Kinder-Krebshilfe im Rahmen meiner Wien-Nizza-Radtour (German)

go to English version (this entry only!)

— UPDATE 2 (14.08.2014): Wir haben das zweite Spendenziel (2.802€) schon am Vorabend meiner Tour um 50€ übertroffen. Daher lasst uns gemeinsam versuchen, noch ein bißchen mehr zusammenzubekommen: Ich habe vor, 39 Pässe auf meiner Tour zu überqueren – und diese 39 Pässe sollen das neue Spendenziel in Höhe von 3.900€ repräsentieren. Ganz herzlichen Dank – nochmals! —

— UPDATE 1 (10.08.2014): Schon eine Woche VOR dem Start meiner Tour ist das ursprünglich angesetzte Spendenziel von 2.130€ fast erreicht – ein ganz großes Dankeschön an alle Spender! Neues Spendenziel seit dem 10.08.2014 ist, mit dem höchsten Punkt meiner Tour, dem 2.802m hohen ‘Col de la Bonette’ (höchster Pass der Alpen), gleichzuziehen. —

Entlang des gesamten Alpenbogens von Ost nach West (2.130km durch fünf Länder von Wien nach Nizza), über die höchsten Pässe der Alpen (42.000hm Gesamtanstieg), ich, mein Fahrrad, und 12kg Gepäck. Das sind die Eckdaten der Fahrradtour, die ich in diesem Sommer unternehmen werde. Verrückt? Vermutlich schon so ein bißchen. Dennoch war es seit langem ein Traum von mir, diese Tour zu wagen, trotz der zu erwartenden Schmerzen – und dieses Jahr wird der Plan realisiert. Bei weitergehendem Interesse bitte einfach einen Blick auf die anderen Einträge auf meiner Website werfen (u.a. mit weiteren Infos zur Tour, GPS-Daten der geplanten Route, Ausrüstungsliste, etc.).

B128 der Blick zurück
Kaunertaler Gletscherstraße auf 2.750m/Kaunertal glacier road at 2,750m (14/06/2014)

Einer der Hauptgründe, die mich (neben der spektakulären Landschaft sowie der Herausforderung an sich) für die Tour anspornen, liegt darin, Menschen zu helfen, die keine Möglichkeit haben, ein normales, gesundes Leben zu leben wie mir das geschenkt ist. Aufgrund verschiedener Erfahrungen im privaten Umfeld musste ich feststellen, daß Krebserkrankungen im Familien- und Freundeskreis immer mal wieder ein Thema sind. Und bei jedem dieser Fälle gibt es zwei Gemeinsamkeiten: Die Betroffenen inspirierten mich unheimlich stark, wie sie mit ihrem Schicksal umgegangen sind bzw. umgehen. Und es war immer auch das Umfeld, das Unterstützung anbot und Hoffnung gab, daß es den Kampf wert ist, egal wie hart, und manchmal auch egal wie hoffnungslos.

Um zum Punkt zu kommen: Von allen Fällen ist es immer am traurigsten, wenn Kinder – das Wertvollste was unsere Gesellschaft besitzt – schwerkrank werden und gegen etwas so Schlimmes wie Krebs ankämpfen müssen; wenn Kinder erkennen müssen, daß sie kein normales Leben führen können – eine Zeit lang, oder vielleicht auch nie.

Durch die Hilfe verschiedenster Organisationen und hingebungsvoller Arbeit von Menschen bekommen solche betroffenen Kinder die Unterstützung, die sie brauchen. Medizinische Hilfe, aber auch Unterhaltung und Ablenkung, die das Leben ein Stück lebenswerter machen. Es ist sicherlich kein Geheimnis, daß diese Organisationen Geld für Ihre Arbeit benötigen.

Und das ist, wo Sie/ihr ins Spiel kommen/kommt: Ich will meine Wien-Nizza-Tour dafür nutzen, Spenden für einen guten Zweck zu sammeln. Für jeden Kilometer auf dem Fahrrad will ich 1 Euro sammeln. Bei 2.130 Kilometern macht das nach Adam Riese 2.130 Euro. Und diese Spendengelder sollen der guten Arbeit von zwei unterschiedlichen Organisationen zugute kommen:

Die erste heißt ‘Herzenswünsche’, ein Verein der schwerkranke Kinder und Jugendliche in ganz Deutschland unterstützt, indem ihnen – wie der Name schon sagt – Herzenswünsche erfüllt werden; dabei kann es sich um die Ausrichtung einer Geburtstagsfeier handeln, das Arrangieren eines Treffens mit einem Prominenten, Besuch auf dem Pony-Hof, eine Heißluftballonfahrt o.ä. – mit dem Ziel, neue Hoffnung und Kraft zu geben.
Mehr Informationen gibt’s auf:

Die zweite Organisation liegt mir ebenfalls sehr am Herzen, da sie sich in meiner unmittelbaren Nähe engagiert: Der ‘Irmengard-Hof’ der Björn Schulz-Stiftung am Chiemsee. In einem historischen Dreiseithof, der zu einem Benediktinerinnenkloster gehörte, wird die Möglichkeit zur psychosozialen Nachsorge für Familien mit krebs- oder chronisch kranken Kindern angeboten.
Weitere Informationen unter:

Und nun zum Wichtigsten: Spenden ist wirklich sehr, sehr unkompliziert. Einfach auf klicken und den angegebenen Schritten folgen. Es kann aus allen Ländern gespendet werden, es ist sicher, transparent, und der Spendenbetrag kann völlig frei gewählt werden. Wie es auf der Website dargestellt ist, kann ein zusätzlicher Anteil für – die Spendenplattform, die zum Sammeln genutzt wird – hinzugefügt werden. Dies ist aber vollkommen freiwillig. Oben rechts kann die Sprache zwischen Englisch und Deutsch gewechselt werden.

Zu den Zahlungsmethoden: Bankeinzug, Kreditkarte (VISA oder MasterCard), oder PayPal sind möglich.

Bitte nutzt/nutzen Sie zwei Minuten, um zu spenden – jeder Betrag hilft (solange wir am Ende die 2.130 € zusammenbekommen 😉 ). Nach meiner Radtour, wenn wir hoffentlich dieses durchaus sportliche Spenden-Ziel erreicht haben, wird die Summe 50/50 auf die beiden Projekte aufgeteilt.

Und noch eine letzte Bitte: Weiterleitung dieser Nachricht an Familie, Freunde, Kollegen etc. ist sehr gerne gesehen!

EIN RIESEN DANKESCHÖN für Eure/Ihre Unterstützung! Ich werde natürlich berichten, wie das Spendenprojekt voranschreitet – und gleichzeitig auch Updates auf meine Website stellen, wie’s mir auf der Radtour ergeht (wahrscheinlich eher selten während der Tour, aber spätestens dann danach, inklusive Fotos.)

Bei Fragen bitte einfach melden! Und nochmals: Vielen, vielen Dank für die Hilfe und Unterstützung!

Martin Karl

route details (as planned) – GPS, course, passes, sights; i.e. all the statistics you need

Vienna-Nice: complete routemap Vienna-Nice
distance (km): 2.130 [average per day: 106.5]
elevation gain (m): 41,930 [average per day: 2,097]
elevation loss (m): 42,097 [average per day: 2,105]


details (route subdivided into 20 day legs):

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 1 [Wien – Mariazell] {AT}
distance (km): 143; elevation gain (m): 2,301; elevation loss (m): 1,649
mountain passes: Auf-dem-Hals-Pass (655m); Rohrer Sattel (853m); Ochsattel (854m); Gscheidpass (982m)
sights/significant places: Vienna; pilgrimage church Mariazell

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 2 [Mariazell – Liezen] {AT}
distance (km): 117; elevation gain (m): 1,256; elevation loss (m): 1,446
mountain passes: Halspass (830m); Radstatthöhenstraße (637m)
sights/significant places: Benedictine abbey Admont

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 3 [Liezen – Salzburg] {AT}
distance (km): 133; elevation gain (m): 1,182; elevation loss (m): 1,417
mountain passes: Koppenpass (690m)
sights/significant places: passing by Dachstein; pre-historic Hallstatt; Bad Ischl; Wolfgangsee; Salzburg

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 4 [Salzburg – Zell am See] {AT/DE}
distance (km): 101; elevation gain (m): 999; elevation loss (m): 650
mountain passes: Schwarzbachwachtsattel (868m); Steinpass (651m); Kniepass (560m)
sights/significant places: Berchtesgaden; passing by Königssee/Watzmann (Nationalpark Berchtesgaden); Zell am See

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 5 [Zell am See – Lienz] {AT}
distance (km): 92; elevation gain (m): 2,371; elevation loss (m): 2,465
mountain passes: Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße (2,505m) [#7]; Iselsbergpass (1,204m)
sights/significant places: passing by Edelweißwpitze and Franz-Josephs-Höhe; pilgrimage church Heiligenblut

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 6 [Lienz – Toblach] {AT/IT}
distance (km): 94; elevation gain (m): 1,865; elevation loss (m): 1,314
mountain passes: Staller Sattel (2,052m)
sights/significant places: castle in Lienz; Toblach with church, castle and Gustav Mahler’s holiday house; passing by Pragser Wildsee/Plätzwiese

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 7 [Toblach – Canazei] {IT}
distance (km): 93; elevation gain (m): 2,554; elevation loss (m): 2,340
mountain passes: Col Sant’ Angelo (1,756m); Passo Tre Croci (1,809m); Passo di Falzárego (2,117m); Passo Pordoi (2,239m)
sights/significant places: in the heart of the Dolomites; Cortina d’Ampezzo; passing by ‘Drei Zinnen’ and Sella

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 8 [Canazei – Cles] {IT}
distance (km): 112; elevation gain (m): 2,282; elevation loss (m): 3,085
mountain passes: Karerpass (1,752m); Mendelpass (1,363m)
sights/significant places: Karersee; Bolzano; passing by Kalterer See; passing by Monte Pénegal

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 9 [Cles – Bormio] {IT}
distance (km): 97; elevation gain (m): 2,913; elevation loss (m): 2,373
mountain passes: Passo die Tonale (1,884m); Passo di Gávia (2,621m) [#6]
sights/significant places: palace and church in Cles; Ortler mountains

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 10 [Bormio – Davos] {IT/CH}
distance (km): 101; elevation gain (m): 3,314; elevation loss (m): 2,944
mountain passes: Umbrailpass (2,505m) [#8]; [maybe: Stilfser Joch [2,757m] [#3] – not directly on route]; Ofenpass/Fuorn (2,149m); Flüelapass (2,383m)
sights/significant places: Bórmio; Schweizer Nationalpark/Engadin; Zernez; crossing Inn river (just 250km away from Rosenheim); Davos

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 11 [Davos – Chiavenna] {CH/IT}
distance (km): 124; elevation gain (m): 2,228; elevation loss (m): 3,463
mountain passes: Albulapass (2,315m); Malojapass (1,815m)
sights/significant places: St. Moritz; area of the source of Inn river; passing by Berninapass

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 12 [Chiavenna – Bellinzona] {IT/CH}
distance (km): 110; elevation gain (m): 1,576; elevation loss (m): 1,674
mountain passes: Monte Céneri (554m)
sights/significant places: Chiavenna, Lago di Como; Lugano; passing by Lago Maggiore/Locarno; Bellinzona (UNESCO world heritage site)

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 13 [Bellinzona – Gletsch] {CH}
distance (km): 107; elevation gain (m): 2,875; elevation loss (m): 1,342
mountain passes: St.-Gotthard-Pass (2,108m); Furkapass (2,436m)
sights/significant places: Airolo fortress; Gletsch (‘Belle Epoque’ and steam rail Furka mountain train); Rhone river; near Grimsel pass

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 14 [Gletsch – Martigny] {CH}
distance (km): 129; elevation gain (m): 380; elevation loss (m): 1,675
mountain passes:
sights/significant places: along Rhone river; passing by Berner Alpen and Walliser Alpen (Monte Rosa, Zermatt, Matterhorn)

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 15 [Martigny – Aosta] {CH/IT}
distance (km): 79; elevation gain (m): 2,224; elevation loss (m): 2,095
mountain passes: Großer-St.-Bernhard-Pass (2,473m) [#10 – other sources: #12]
sights/significant places: Martigny; Roman Aosta

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 16 [Aosta – Seez] {IT/FR}
distance (km): 81; elevation gain (m): 1,844; elevation loss (m): 1,545
mountain passes: Kleiner-St.-Bernhard-Pass/Col du Petit St-Bernard (2,188m)
sights/significant places: passing by Val Savarenche

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 17 [Seez – St. Michel de Maurienne] {FR}
distance (km): 117; elevation gain (m): 2,576; elevation loss (m): 2,742
mountain passes: Col de l’Iseran (2,770m) [#2]
sights/significant places: Val d’Isère; Bonneval-sur-Arc (part of the ‘nicest villages in France’); chapel in Lanslevillard; rail exhibition in Modane

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 18 [St. Michel de Maurienne – Briancon] {FR}
distance (km): 70; elevation gain (m): 2,254; elevation loss (m): 1,697
mountain passes: Col du Télégraphe (1,600m); Col du Galibier (2,646m) [#5]; Col du Lautaret (2,058m)
sights/significant places: Valloire (baroque church: one of the nicest sacral buildings in Arc valley) Galibier: monument for the founder of Le Tour de France’; Rosenheim’s partner city Briancon

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 19 [Briancon – Jausiers] {FR}
distance (km): 92; elevation gain (m): 2,819; elevation loss (m): 2,856
mountain passes: Col d’Izoard (2,360m); [maybe: Col d’Agnel [2,746m] [#4] – not directly on route]; Col de Vars (2,109m)
sights/significant places: Col de Vars: alpine zoo

Vienna-Nice Transalp – day 20 [Jausiers – Nice] {FR}
distance (km): 138; elevation gain (m): 2,117; elevation loss (m): 3,325
mountain passes: Col de Restefond (2,678m); Col de la Bonette (2,802m) [#1]
sights/significant places: highest mountain pass in the Alps (2nd highest paved mountain road in the Alps); Nice; Mediterranean